killer game is a hit, man. by
9, 2006 - Hitman:
Blood Money is like a fine wine. One must acquire
a taste for it in order to fully appreciate and savor
all of the nuances associated with its full bodied
flavor. The series has definitely spawned Hitman connoisseurs
that can be decidedly snobbish about the proper gameplay
techniques. They might say something to the effect
that if youre looking for a run-and-gun style
shooter, your thirst will be better quenched with
something more low brow like a Big Gulp rather than
a glass of Gewurztraminer.
Hitman series is more realized than ever in Blood
Money. As the fourth in the franchise it plays better,
sounds better and thanks to the Xbox 360, it looks
amazing. The game itself, like the story, can be as
simple as you want it to be, but to truly experience
the game the way it was meant to be played you have
to dig deeper. You could simply assume the role of
a hitman and kill everyone in your path. The end.
But what fun would that be? There is so much freedom
in the game that you arent forced into any particular
style of play. Its great to have that freedom
but you have to exert some restraint. You have to
really get into the character and do things from his
perspective. He may be a thug, but hes the best
in the biz. Take a lesson and learn what it takes
to be a professional in this deadly discipline.
I get to sounding all gushy about this game there
are some elements that conspire to keep it from reaching
greatness. First of all the game doesnt deviate
from the original formula. Its just more refined.
Its more user-friendly and its altogether
more cohesive, but its still very familiar.
The combat is awkward, certainly not the games
strongest feature, and shootouts with the guards are
redundant. There is plenty of trial and error and
while it appears that you can save in the middle of
a level, it will be erased if you turn the machine
as Agent 47, the Hitman, is a complex personality.
Hes atoned for his past sins and at one time
had retired from the profession but was forced back
into action when his friend, a benevolent priest,
was kidnapped. Agent 47 is not unlike James Bond.
Hes cool, resourceful, professional and dapper.
He will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
He conducts himself by a code of ethics in which he
strives to do as little collateral damage as possible.
He also justifies his killings so that he is morally
convinced that he is doing the right thing, not just
performing a job. When viewing the world from his
perspective, you eventually come around to his way
dont want to belabor the point but just because
the game can be played as a third-person shooter doesnt
mean that it should. There are far better games available
for that purpose. Approaching Blood Money in the tradition
of Splinter Cell will yield the most favorable results
and ultimate enjoyment. One of the most crucial aspects
of the gameplay is the blend of stealth and exploration.
Approach every situation with caution. Like a real
hitman you want to scout out the scene without attracting
attention to yourself. Your primary goal in each mission
is to avoid detection at all cost. This culminates
in numerous situations that must be taken into account,
from making the hit look like an accident to the disposal
of the body.
mission should be approached as a complex puzzle.
There are many different ways to piece things together
so that you wont be stuck for a particular solution
although some solutions are much superior to
others. Its this open-endedness that gives the
game a lot of replay value as you can go back and
try to figure out more sophisticated means of accomplishing
your mission while reducing collateral damage. There
are even some bloodless solutions, but what the hell
fun is that?
dont want to leave behind any evidence or witnesses.
As you can imagine this requires that you not be seen
or heard. That doesnt necessarily mean that
you have to cower in the shadows. You can don disguises
and mingle with the population or you can just be
another face in a frenzied crowd. Bombs may be planted
or a sniper rifle can be used which will help you
avoid being placed directly at the scene. Agent 47s
favorite weapon is a strip of wire that he uses to
sneak up behind an enemy and strangle them to death.
The kill is quick, silent and a lot messier than a
headshot. If a body is not disposed of properly or
another guard is alerted you will be swarmed and overwhelmed.
By taking your time and observing the guards you will
be able to discern their patrol patterns and possibly
avoid a confrontation altogether. However, not all
tasks are this straightforward.
illustrate the level of complexity one must give to
a specific situation Ill reveal a particularly
interesting mission. In an attempt to eradicate an
actor you discover that he is performing at the Paris
Opera House. You learn that according to the plot
he is to be shot by another actor. Breaking into the
backstage prop department you switch the fake gun
for a real one. You can imagine the results.
Money refers to the cash that Agent 47 earns for his
successfully completed missions. With that money he
can purchase new equipment and upgrade his old weapons.
He can acquire more destructive ammunition, faster
reloading mechanisms, more powerful scopes for his
sniper rifle and better ways to conceal his weapons.
There are situations in which you will not be able
to sneak weapons past certain points and will be required
to make use of regular items such as knives, garden
tools and poison. Another way to acquire weapons is
to take them from the bodies of the enemy.
new feature is Notoriety. Its an attempt to
steer you in the right gameplay direction and discourage
you from running and gunning through the levels. I
should rephrase that. It doesnt necessarily
discourage you from playing this game as a shooter
as much as it rewards you for not playing it like
a shooter. If anything it only encourages shooters
to continue their shooting spree as you learn that
the best witness is a dead witness. If you play the
game sloppily by leaving bodies around, kill innocent
civilians, or leave witnesses the papers will report
your activities and publish an image of your likeness.
This increases your chances of being recognized by
the public and it also brings the on the heat. This
is going to cost you. You will have to pay out your
blood money in the form of bribes to keep things quiet.
If you want to fully customize your character with
specific upgrades you will want to clean up your act
in a hurry.
attention to detail in this game is astounding. There
are no looped sound effects. The crowd scenes at the
hillbilly wedding and at Mardi Gras are dynamic. Environments
are rich in detail, from the odd crack in a random
brick to the incredibly precise rendering of a crystal
chandelier, be prepared to be impressed. Unlike previous
Hitman games we are afforded a third-person perspective
instead of the over-the-shoulder view. The Hitman
moves with newly refined grace. Hes not stiff
and puppet-like. In fact all of the animations are
fluid. The cutscenes sport great production values
including great voiceacting, haunting music and a
youre just looking to blast your way through
level after level, Blood Money, is not the game for
you. If you want to assume the role of an actual hitman
and utilize the most dangerous weapon of all, your
imagination, then by all means get your hands on this
one. Knock em dead, kid.
to the USA: Agent 47 is heading to the U.S. making
deadly stops in iconic locales such as Las Vegas,
New Orleans, Los Angeles and Mississippi.
Game Engine: Now with a number of new moves including
the ability to create accidents and to dispose of
bodies as well as a re-vamped NPC and AI system,
the world of being an assassin has never been more
Blood Money System: Use your hard-earned cash to
bribe the press, keep your picture out of the morning
paper. Or you can customize and upgrade your weapons
to match your personal style of assassination. The
choice is up to you.
Rivalry: Agent 47 is up against a rival agency of
assassins competing to take out high-priced targets,
and may even become the primary target himself.
Online Stat System allows players to post stats
in a variety of different skills and feats.
and compete with other players around the world.
Training: New to the world of assassinations? New
rookie mode and levels of difficulty will give you
all the training needed.
Danger: Drop a priceless chandelier or use a remote
bomb all new accident system allows for more freedom
in choosing the method for taking out the target.